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Rescued 3-year-old boy reunites with officials who spent over 48 hours searching for him

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By Anthony Ali

Craven County Sheriff’s Office(Craven County, N.C.) — A 3-year-old North Carolina boy found alive two days he went missing has reunited with the authorities who spent over 48 hours searching for him.

Casey Hathaway, who was in good condition when he was found January 24 in wooded Craven County, visited the Sheriff’s Office on Thursday with his family.

Officials posted the adorable photos of Casey to the sheriff’s Facebook page.

“Casey is doing well,” it read.

Casey was playing with two other children on Jan. 22 when he disappeared from his grandmother’s home. His grandmother and others searched for about 45 minutes and then called 911.

After two days of desperate searches for the little boy, crews responded to a report of a child crying in the woods and found Casey “about 40 to 50 yards in the woods, tangled up,” Craven County Sheriff Chip Hughes told ABC New Bern affiliate WCTI hours after he was found.

Casey was soaking wet but had his coat on, Hughes said, and “he wanted water — and his mom.”

“He did say that he had a friend in the woods that was a bear,” the sheriff added.

“What he survived out there — temperatures in the 20s, low 20s, the rain, the downpour that almost put our search on a standstill,” Hughes said. “This kid, he’s strong. He was meant to survive. He’s a survivor.”

The little boy was rushed to the hospital.

“Just the look on his face when his little sister came in the room, it was tear-jerking,” Hughes said.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News

      

Mom surrenders twin newborns safely at California fire station, 2 of nearly 1,000 saved by state program

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By Anthony Ali

Jim Steinfeldt/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) — A young mother surrendered her newborn twins at a California fire station this week, marking the latest two of nearly 1,000 infants that have been surrendered to authorities since the program was launched in 2001, according to state officials.

“This is exactly why the Safe Surrender program was created,” San Bernadino County Fire Chief Mark Hartwig said in a statement.

“This young mother did the right thing by bringing her babies to the fire station. Regardless of your circumstances, the Safe Surrender program is a viable and loving option — no questions asked.”

The Safely Surrendered Baby program — signed permanently into state law in 2006 — codified a program that began five years earlier. The state law allows a parent or lawful custodian to safely surrender a baby, confidentially and with no questions asked and no fear of prosecution, within 72 hours of birth.

The program’s goal to save lives of newborn infants at risk of abandonment by providing an option to safely surrender the infant with no questions asked. The person with lawful physical custody is given 14 days to change their mind and reclaim the baby.

The woman arrived at the “Safe Haven Site” and told firefighters that she had just given birth to twins and wanted to safely surrender them, according to a statement from the San Bernardino County Fire Station.

Fire Captain Andrea Binley and her fire crew immediately took the babies in and evaluated their needs. The infants had been cared for and were in good medical condition upon arrival, according to the statement.

The newborns were then transported to a local hospital for further assessment. The mother declined medical care for herself. The fire department provided the mother with information on how she could reclaim her children if she wished to do so, in compliance with the law, according to the statement.

The mother’s decision to take advantage of the law is being applauded on social media.

From January, 2001 through December, 2017, 931 infants have been safely surrendered, according to state officials, including 88 surrendered in 2017 alone. During the same period, 175 newborns were abandoned in California.

Abandonment of infants in California has dropped from 25 cases a year in 2002 to five or less cases per year since 2010, according to the California Department of Social Services (CDSS).

Safe surrender sites are typically hospitals or fire stations that have been approved by a county board of supervisors or fire agency. Approved locations display the safe surrender logo.

The baby and parent or surrendering person both receive a confidentially-coded ankle bracelet upon arrival. Under law, the parent or surrendering person has at least two weeks to reclaim their baby by bringing their copy of the coded bracelet back to the site.

After a baby is received, he or she is examined, receives medical treatment, and is then placed in a foster or pre-adoptive home.

“In California, no one ever has to abandon a baby again,” the CDSS states on its website.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News

      

Murderer executed in 1999 identified through DNA as man allegedly behind woman's 1979 cold case killing

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By Anthony Ali

Portland Police Bureau(PORTLAND, Wash.) — A killer and rapist who led police on “the biggest manhunt in Texas history” has been identified as the man allegedly behind a 1979 cold case killing in Portland, Oregon, officials said.

But Jerry Walter McFadden, whom authorities now believe killed Anna Marie Hlavka, won’t be tried for the crime because he was executed nearly 20 years ago.

The cold case killing of 20-year-old Anna Marie Hlavka dates back to July 24, 1979, when she was sexually assaulted and strangled to death in her apartment, Portland police said Thursday.

Hlavka, who was strangled with the electric cord from her clock radio, was discovered by her sister at the home the two shared with Hlavka’s fiance, police said.

Decades went by without progress in her murder.

The first lead came in 2011 when an unknown male DNA profile was recovered from crime scene evidence, police said.

From 2012 to 2016, authorities submitted DNA from eight people to try to identify the killer, but none of the DNA submissions matched the crime scene, police said.

The turning point was last year, when detectives looked into the use of genetic genealogy, police said.

The new investigative technology uses an unknown suspect’s DNA left at a crime scene to trace his or her family tree. By creating a family tree based on the unknown suspect’s relatives who voluntarily submit DNA to genealogy websites, authorities can zero in on a suspect.

The first public arrest through genetic genealogy was the arrest of the suspected “Golden State Killer” in April. Since then, genetic genealogy has helped lead to more than 20 other suspect identifications.

By October, a genealogy expert working with police zeroed in on McFadden as the suspect in Hlavka’s case, authorities said.

But McFadden, a convicted murderer, was executed in Texas in 1999.

“Due to McFadden’s execution date, his DNA profile was never entered into the FBI CODIS database for comparison,” police said in Thursday’s news release.

McFadden’s family members gave DNA to detectives, who confirmed a match to the DNA at the Portland murder scene, police said.

McFadden had a lengthy and violent criminal record, including murder, rape and kidnapping.

In 1973, he was sentenced to 15 years behind bars for two counts of rape, police said.

But he was paroled in December 1978 — eight months before Hlavka’s murder, police said.

Detectives have since learned McFadden went to the Pacific Northwest in 1979 with a woman who “reported dropping him off in Portland and having no further contact with him,” police said.

In 1979, McFadden was convicted of kidnapping and raping an 18-year-old woman at knife-point, police said.

McFadden was paroled in July 1985.

He arrested again less than a year later for raping and killing an 18-year-old high schooler and shooting two others, police said.

McFadden was in jail awaiting a capital murder trial when he escaped and kidnapped a corrections officer, holding her hostage for three days, police said.

The search for McFadden was called “the biggest manhunt in Texas history,” with more than 1,000 officers involved, Portland police said.

McFadden’s crimes led to parole changes in Texas, according to police.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News

      

Governor Greg Abbott And First Lady Cecilia Abbott Honored With 2019 Partners In Courage Award

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By lauren.mccanse@gov.texas.gov Governor Greg Abbott and First Lady Cecilia Abbott were honored this evening in Austin by the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas (CACTX) and presented with the 2019 Partners in Courage Award that recognizes state leaders who provide unwavering support to children’s advocacy centers and Texas children in the fight against child abuse.Governor Greg Abbott and First Lady Cecilia Abbott were honored this evening in Austin by the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas (CACTX) and presented with the 2019 Partners in Courage Award that recognizes state leaders who provide unwavering support to children’s advocacy centers and Texas children in the fight against child abuse.

In accepting on their behalf, the First Lady spoke on the importance of helping Texans in need, and expressed gratitude for the impact that Children’s Advocacy Centers make in the lives of children across the Lone Star State.

“Greg and I are both so grateful for the amazing work of the Children’s Advocacy Centers across this state,” said First Lady Abbott. “We are incredibly honored to receive this award and quite humbled to be called courageous — for it is the children you serve who are truly courageous. The Governor and I would like to thank each of you for all that you are doing for these precious children. In giving of your hearts and hands, you are the true partners in courage. The Governor and I are proud to share this award with each of you.”

CACTX is the statewide membership association representing all local children’s advocacy centers in the Lone Star State. Its mission is to restore the lives of abused children by supporting children’s advocacy centers in partnership with local communities and agencies investigating and prosecuting child abuse.

about Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas, Inc.

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Source:: Office of the Governor

      

Governor Abbott Statement On Houston Police Shooting

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By stephen.chang@gov.texas.gov Governor Greg Abbott today issued the following statement after it was reported that multiple Houston Police Department Officers were shot while serving in the line of duty.Governor Greg Abbott today issued the following statement after it was reported that multiple Houston Police Department Officers were shot while serving in the line of duty:

“This evening’s horrific attack on police officers is a solemn reminder of the service and sacrifice our brave men and women in law enforcement make every day to keep us safe. The city of Houston and the Houston Police Department will have whatever state resources they need to bring swift justice to those involved. I ask all Texans to join Cecilia and me in praying for the officers injured, and for the continued safety of all law enforcement officers who protect our communities.”

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Source:: Office of the Governor

      

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